"If you were advising a professional firm about web marketing, what would you stress?" after pointing out that "among some types of professional firm (sic) there is often resistance to the concept of marketing in general, and the digital space in particular."
An understatement to be sure! David Maister made some astute observations and appealed to readers for some specific evidence of effective digital marketing.
A long discussion ensued (see the comments on his post: Digital Marketing for Professional Firms) including a few posts by yours truly. (I was actually encouraged by a few friends and clients to "get over there and post!").
I both agreed and disagreed with David Maister's observations. In particular, I disagreed with the supposition that business decision makers don't spend much time on the web. (I've read several credible studies to the contrary.)
But the main point of my thinking on this is that looking to existing PSF firm websites for evidence of best practices in e-marketing is pretty much a waste of time. It's like sending your talent scout to a nursing home to spot cute child-actors. Possible but unlikely.
Further, some might be surprised that, despite my passion on the topic of e-marketing and incorporating social media into marketing plans of traditional firms, my final comment includes the following statement about attempting to persuade firms in this area:
Personally, I don't see it as my role to "convince" anyone to move in this direction...As a service provider, I have no interest in helping people implement something they don't 'get' or believe in.
Frankly, the only firms moving in this direction are those whose leadership understands the way people are changing in their use of the web PLUS bear courage to innovate and experiment (because that is what it still is!) in this arena.
I'm pleased to see a growing number of accounting firms finding the courage to explore new techniques of e-marketing. If you're borderline, or not sure what I'm referring to, check out David's post.
Thanks to David Koopmans for posting more about this subject on his blog. And special thanks also to Bill Dotson, Technology and Business Development Consultant, who liked my comments enough to pick them up on his own blog.